Compare tolcapone vs. carbidopa / levodopa

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

Tasmar (tolcapone)

Prescription only
Treats Parkinson's disease.

Taking Tasmar (tolcapone) is the next step to control Parkinson's disease when carbidopa/levodopa don't work as well, however you might be more likely to have liver damage.

Treats Parkinson's disease.

Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa) is the first choice treatment for Parkinson's disease.

Upsides
  • Tasmar (tolcapone) is part of the medicines used as the most common next step to control Parkinson's disease when carbidopa/levodopa doesn't work as well.
  • Tasmar (tolcapone) is available as a generic.
  • Tasmar (tolcapone) can be taken with or without food.
  • Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa) is widely available as a regular pill, a quick dissolving pill or a liquid taken through a feeding tube.
  • Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa) is available in generic.
Downsides
  • When you first start taking Tasmar (tolcapone), your doctor might have to change the dose a lot because of all the side effects.
  • Tasmar (tolcapone) will only slow the disease down; it is not a cure for Parkinson's disease.
  • Unlike Comtan, Tasmar (tolcapone) is more likely to damage your liver, so you might need regular blood tests for the first few months.
  • Tasmar (tolcapone) is not available as a combination pill with carbidopa/levodopa, unlike Comtan.
  • Tasmar (tolcapone) can cause dry mouth and changes in blood pressure. Changes in blood pressure can make you feel faint and more likely to fall.
  • Can make you very sleepy.
  • Can stain your saliva, sweat and urine a dark color.
  • Will lose its effect over time as your disease progresses.
  • May need to be taken several times during day to control symptoms of Parkinson's disease
  • May cause unusual cravings in some people.
Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Pill
  • Dissolving tablet
Price
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Reviews
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Side effects
40possible side effects
  • Difficulty controlling movement
    42%
  • Nausea
    30%
  • Sleeping problems
    24%
  • Excessive dreaming
    21%
  • Muscle cramps
    19%
  • Loss of appetite
    19%
  • Sleepiness
    18%
  • Uncontrolled muscle spasms
    17%
  • Lightheadedness from standing
    17%
  • Diarrhea
    16%
  • Dizziness
    13%
  • Confusion
    11%
  • Headache
    10%
  • Hallucinations
    8%
  • Vomiting
    8%
  • Fatigue
    7%
  • Constipation
    6%
  • Common cold
    5%
  • Urinary tract infection
    5%
  • Dry mouth
    5%
  • Abdominal pain
    5%
  • Falls
    4%
  • Increased sweating
    4%
  • Fainting
    4%
  • Indigestion
    4%
  • Flu
    3%
  • Shortness of breath
    3%
  • Loss of balance
    3%
  • Increased abnormal movements
    3%
  • Chest pain
    3%
  • Tingling/prickling sensation
    3%
  • Urine discoloration
    2%
  • Gas
    2%
  • Low blood pressure
    2%
  • Stiffness
    2%
  • Joint pain
    2%
  • Problems with urination
    2%
  • Neck pain or stiffness
    2%
  • Burning sensation
    2%
  • Nasal congestion
    2%
See more detailed side effects
The Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa) FDA package insert doesn’t have numbers about how common side effects are.
Risks and risk factors
  • Liver damage
    • Liver damage
  • Falling asleep during the day
    • Taking other medicines for Parkinson's disease
  • Diarrhea
  • Abnormal thinking and mood changes
    • Taking antipsychotic medicines
  • Difficulty controlling movements
  • Lack of impulse control
    • Taking other medicines for Parkinson's disease
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Falling asleep during the day
    • Taking other medicines for Parkinson's
  • High fever and confusion
    • Stopping Sinemet (carbidopa / levodopa) suddenly
  • Changes in behavior
  • Lack of impulse control
    • Taking other medicines for Parkinson's disease
  • Changes in blood pressure and falls
See more detailed risks and warnings